Photo by Deneka Peniston
Kid Savant (or is it Kids Avant 'Garde,' who can tell, really?) is a Midwestern band who have recently relocated to the hipster central of Brooklyn. Kid Savant has been stringing out catch electronic-pop hits, and a dizzyingly great video for "4 Years." We caught up with lead vocalist Ryan Donovan about Greenpoint life, the video process, and some of Kid Savant's music influences.
For starters, with a name like Kid Savant you're definitely going to be asked about its meaning. Is there anything you can say to help us shed some light on why you chose this name?
It's kids avant (garde) actually. The 'garde is silent.
What bands influence you the most?
Red Bull, peer pressure, and the snakewoman that tongues our hearts on lonely weekdays influence us more than any band. But James Brown stands a part as the godfather of awesome.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Always humming "Under My Thumb."
So you're originally from the Midwest and have recently moved to Brooklyn—how has this geographic change influenced you musically or otherwise?
The carcinogens in the water in Greenpoint have greatly expanded our creative faculties.
Your video for "4 Years" has a very DIY feel, despite the fact that there are pianos falling from the sky. How was it made and what's the concept behind it?
Our producer did off-road racing through Africa as a young girl of 19. She broke her arm in half once. Splinted it with a bent stick and drove another week. I expect anything she works on will be cool.
Her husband and our aerial cinematographer, Greg, is a world champion stunt diver who jumps from one plane to another with no parachute.
Smiling George shattered his hip in a stealth night jump in Vietnam and operates with no bones in his right hip. He eats percocet for lunch. We lost him in the desert for 10 hours, and he showed up at the end of the day with nothing but a smile on his face.
Bryan, our air coordinator, who told us, to dig a deep hole when y'all shit in the desert and take heed that rattlers don't crawl up your assholes, reads Socrates and Montaigne and can tell within the accuracy of a few yards where an object will fall from 15,000 feet.
We made this with some real wild human beings. Thats really how it got done. Everyone that worked on it was a professional, a technical expert, and a 'fuck it' or 'live on the edge' alpha personality. When you work with a team like that and you've got a gem of an idea, the concept kind of emerges on it's own, with some miserable drudgery in the brutal desert sun.
How do you feel about the video's final product?
My mom puked on my new laptop from vertigo when watching it the first time. Success!
Ryan: Treat Me Like Your Mother. Dead Weather.
Dene: Change is Gonna Come. Otis Redding.
John: Lullaby. The Cure.
Kevin: Good Girls/Carrots. Panda Bear.
Check out Kid Savant's video for "4 Years" below, and watch out for their EP Drop It On the Stereo, out 10/24.
Kid Savant is playing our CMJ Showcase, The Launch Pad, at Spike Hill.
RSVP for the event over at Eventbrite and Facebook.
Stay tuned for more of our CMJ showcase acts, and see all of the one's we've already profiled here.